Can You Sue If You Or A Loved One Contracted COVID-19 Or Another Infectious Illness?
During a pandemic, the chances of contracting an illness go up significantly. It is important for everyone to listen to medical professionals and follow their advice. This isn't always possible, however. If you were away on a cruise ship, in the hospital getting treatment, or living in a nursing home, you or your loved one has to contend with whatever measures those institutions enact.
What happens if you or a loved one contracts an infectious disease such as COVID-19 due to the negligence of a nursing home or cruise ship? Can you sue? Yes, if you can prove they were negligent. Here are some things you should know before you contact a personal injury lawyer.
Did You Know About The Pandemic Beforehand?
This can be an important factor in being able to sue for personal injury damages. If you knew ahead of time that there was a pandemic happening or even the potential spread of a dangerous illness and decided to take your vacation anyway, this can affect your chances of success.
If the pandemic occurred while you were already on vacation and did what the medical professionals told you to do, such as isolating, but your hotel, cruise ship or other accommodations didn't prepare before the virus hit your location, you could potentially sue for damages.
Many hospitals canceled elected surgeries and non-essential treatments, but if you still went to the hospital to visit a sick loved one or went to the doctor's office without protective gear on, and still contracted the illness, you may not be able to sue.
Were There Protections In Place For Guests?
If you were on a cruise ship or in a hotel room when the pandemic occurred, did the ship or hotel enact emergency protective procedures to try to stop guests from getting sick? Did they quarantine those who tested positive for the virus? Did the staff extensively clean and sanitize heavily used spaces and touchpoints? Did staff isolate guests in their rooms and only provide exercise space to a small number of people at a time, ensuring no contact between them?
If the cruise ship or hotel didn't do these things right away and more people became infected before they did, you might have a case to sue for personal injury damages. Cruise ships and hotels have a responsibility to protect their guests and visitors from harm.
Did The Nursing Home Keep Visitors Away?
If you or a loved one contracted the virus at a nursing home or a hospital, was there something the staff there could have done that they didn't do earlier? For example, did they prevent visitors from entering the facility to protect their residents and patients from exposure? Were staff tested daily for signs of illness or perhaps were isolated with the residents or patients during the pandemic to ensure there was a low chance of the virus entering the facility?
If they didn't do what they needed to right away, you could have a case to sue. To learn more about COVID-19 cases, contact a personal injury lawyer in your area like those at Cantor Injury Law.